How Comprehensive is Your Approach to Business? - Column #193
There’s a commonly held belief in business that success is the result of selling as many products or services as possible to as many consumers as possible at the highest prices possible while paying the lowest possible wages to make as much money as possible. This is a limited perspective of success, though, that when followed leaves everyone involved feeling taken advantage of; vastly undervalued; used; and, most importantly, unhappy.
Truly successful businesses have a more comprehensive and inclusive perspective. Their approach is one that benefits the many and not merely the few and strives to create as much happiness and success as possible for customers, owners, team members and the community while also generating a profit. This balanced approach to success takes all the players into account and spreads the fruits of labor far and wide for the betterment of the whole.
Truly successful businesses aren’t only money making machines. They represent a tremendous opportunity to make life more pleasant and the world a better place — if they’re used for such a noble cause.
This comprehensive approach to success begins with the lifeblood of any successful business: its customers.
If they’re not happy with the products and services provided them in exchange for their hard-earned money, they won’t return — or speak very highly of your company.
When you think about your customers, it’s important to see them as people who’ve chosen to do business with you and not merely dollar signs that will improve your bottom line. When customers are valued and treated with respect, integrity and care, they turn over time into raving fans of you, your team and your business. The happiness and success of everyone increases.
This same principle applies to your team members. Without them, your company wouldn’t function. Without their dedication, it would be impossible to conduct high quality business. Their willingness to devote large portions of their lives to help you in exchange for earning a living shouldn’t be taken for granted. Like you, your team members have dreams of happiness and success. Their families depend on them just as your family depends on you.
Your team members constitute a conduit between your business and your customers. They’re not cogs in the wheel of your business, they’re people. The more you care for your team members, the more likely they are to care for you. When you value and treat them with dignity, they will typically give their best to you and your customers. The happier they are, the stronger your business will be and the more success everyone will enjoy.
When you operate from the mindset others want to be happy and successful just as you do, you’ll see and treat people differently. Through this larger perspective, team members and customers cease to be objects necessary to achieve your financial dreams. Instead, they become vital links in a chain that creates happiness and success throughout the process of doing business.
It’s also true you can’t please everyone. Some team members and customers will never be satisfied with your exceptional efforts. In the pursuit of greater happiness and success, you’ll need to let some team members and customers go.
Companies that operate from a win-win-win perspective in which happy customers, team members and owners succeed are the most rewarding companies to do business with, work for and run. That’s because these businesses give as well as receive.
Quite simply, there’s more to business success than profits, status, prestige and power. When a business is conducted in ways that honors and supports everyone who contributes their time and resources to its well-being, that business is positioned to serve the greater purpose of creating happiness and success in the world as a whole. Its mission becomes a more encompassing endeavor, one not solely focused on providing wealth to owners or investors.
In my work with companies over the years, I’ve repeatedly witnessed the dramatic differences between businesses that truly care about their team members, customers and community and those that don’t.
In truth, your customers, team members, community and you are all in business together. When you operate from a balanced perspective — one that includes the best interests of everyone involved and not just your own — your business will produce happiness, well-being and even more success.